USB Formatting for Firesticks: Important Differences

I want to explain the different options you have when using a USB flash drive on a Firestick. Troy has made some EXCELLENT guides on this topic, but some people still seem confused. I have added some additional tips below. But first, please consider whether you actually need to use a USB flash drive or not. I made a post on that topic here.

Firstly, there are two reasons why you would want to format a USB drive on your firestick.

  1. Expanding the internal storage capacity.
  2. External storage (you can unplug it and download files on a computer or access the drive on another device)

Secondly, there are two options if you want to do BOTH.

  1. You can use a single USB drive and format it to have two different partitions. One will be used for internal storage and the other as external. You may also notice a hidden third partition for system files when you plug it into a computer. However, the only partition you will be able to add/delete from on a computer will be the external storage partition.
  2. You can use two different USB drives at the same time. Format a smaller one as internal storage and a larger one for external storage. (I have never tested this myself, but I believe this should work fine. You just need to buy a proper adapter. I like this one.)

My personal preference would be to do two different USB drives. The process to format each one separately is easier than formatting a mixed use drive, and you can just leave the internal storage drive plugged in permanently. You don’t have to worry about any data corruption when you plug/unplug the external storage drive.
Troypoint Guide: Expanding Internal Storage

Now, if you decide that you want to use a single USB drive and format it for mixed use there is one important thing that you should know. The instructions given in the Troypoint guide linked above show you how to format it as mixed 50/50. But you can format it to be any ratio you’d like. For example, if you have a 256GB flash drive you could do 10/90. This would give you approximately 26GB for internal storage for apps and such and 230GB for external storage. When you get to step #25 where it says “sm partition disk:8,0 mixed 50” just change the 50 to a different number (I am saying this from memory and not actually testing it out right now, but I think the number you put here designates what percentage is used for internal storage. So try changing it to 10 first and if that doesn’t work reformat the drive and try it again using 90).

The ratio of internal to external storage on the USB drive should be determined by how you want to use it. Technical errors can occur sometimes when trying to download or record things to external storage. Even though you are still using an “external” drive as internal storage, it may be wiser to use the “internal” partition on the USB drive as your download or recording destination (such as recording from IPTV). But if your only use for expanding internal storage is to move all your apps and have more space to download apps, then reserve a lot bigger portion of your drive for the external storage.

Also, Rufus is a good program for formatting a USB drive to FAT32. But if you run into an issue (using Windows because idk a darn thing about Macs) where your computer cannot see the drive, then try formatting it using command prompt. You can Google instructions on how to do that. In my experience this is the most failproof way to completely erase a drive and start from scratch.


Very informative guide on this.

Hopefully it helps people.

I feel like this information should be added to the adding external storage post on the website. Everything condensed into one super page on this subject. Less links more info all in one place.

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That would be entirely up to @TROYPOINT but I do agree with you.



I’m noticing tons more information coming out that could be added to these guides to make sure everything is covered.

I believe it should be done. Each category should have these guides pinned at the top as well for easy acces and encouraging of guide usage in an attempt to help with the general questions.

Thanks for all you do @TROYPOINT just some suggestions.

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